A CHURCH in Farnham is celebrating after reaching its fundraising target to save ’Emily’, its much-loved Edwardian organ.

St Mark’s in Upper Hale has been fundraising to restore the organ installed in the church in 1913 and named after local benefactor Emily Mangles.

The organ is in need of a total overhaul and, thanks to the hard work of fundraisers and the generosity of many donors, £23,000 has been raised – meaning restoration can begin later this year.

Rev Lesley Crawley, from St Mark’s, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of many people who have given both time and money to ensure that this beautiful Edwardian pipe organ can be restored and used again by the church and the wider community.

“We have booked the restoration work to begin in June and we expect it to take about a month. During that time we will be inviting local schoolchildren in to see it being restored and find out what goes on inside an organ which you wouldn’t guess from the outside.

“For instance, there are 524 pipes in the organ and you can see only a few from the outside. Then, when the work is finished, we will hold a celebratory concert and invite everyone who has contributed to help us reach our target.

“There are so many people to thank. There are those who put on or took part in events – among them Jonathan Jones, the Sedici Chamber Choir and Recorder Consort, Rosemary Wisbey, and several organists, Dave and Helena Walker and Paul and Frances Whewell who created a model organ and wheeled it round not one but two carnivals – and Frances also headed the Emily fundraising team – the many organisations who contributed including Church Care, the Loseley Christian Trust, Frensham Sponsored Horse Ride, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Farnham Flash Festival, the Farnham and Hale Carnivals, Farnham Lions, Tindle Newspapers, Specsavers; as well as the people who sponsored individual pipes or gave donations. We were also very fortunate in having a very generous anonymous donation of £5,000.

“Thank you all so very much.”